Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pullum & His Piano Men

Joe Pullum- Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1934-1935)

"Pullum, a Houston-born nightclub singer, was one of the more obscure blues stars. He was accompanied on his few recordings by two pianists; Rob Cooper on his earlier discs, and Andy Boy on his later efforts. Pullum's major success was with his self-written song, "Black Gal What Makes Your Head So Hard?" (1934). It sold in large quantities and was covered by Leroy Carr, Mary Johnson, Jimmie Gordon, Josh White and the Harlem Hamfats. His subsequent recordings did not fare as well.

Pullum recorded four sessions, which yielded a total of 30 tracks tracks, between April 1934 and February 1936. The tracks included two intended sequels to "Black Gal," but overall sales were modest. Pullum later performed on radio on the Houston station, KTLC, backed by another pianist, Preston "Peachy" Chase. Pullum relocated to Los Angeles, California in the 1940s, and he further interpreted "Black Gal" into "My Woman", accompanied by Lloyd Glenn, on Swingtime Records in 1948. He also reputedly recorded a demo with Specialty Records in 1953.

Although he was a gifted songwriter, few of his contemporaries seemed able to recall him.

Pullum died in 1964, probably aged 58. All of his known recordings were collated on two Document albums released in 1995."

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